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Tell Your Children to Learn Hadoop

I spent some time last week with several vendors and users of Hadoop, the formless data repository in other words the current favorite of many dot coms and the darling of the data nerds. It was instructive. Moms and Dads, tell your kids to start learning this research now. The younger the better.

The Hadoop ecosystem

I for all that know relatively little about the Hadoop ecosystem, nevertheless it is a big tent and getting bigger. To grok it, you have to cast aside several long-held tech assumptions. First, that you know what you are looking for when you build your databases: Hadoop encourages pack rats to store every log entry, every Tweet, every Web transaction, and other Internet flotsam and jetsam. The hope is that one day some user will come with a question that can't be answered in any way other than to comb through this morass. Who needs to spend months on requirements documents and data dictionaries when we can just shovel our data into a hard drive somewhere? Turns out, a lot of folks.

No, no, no and no. The IT crowd isn't necessarily leading the Hadooping of our networks. Departmental analysts can get their own datasets up and running, though you in effect need skilled folks who have a handle on the dozen or so helper technologies to in point of fact make Hadoop certainly useful. And Hadoop is anything however a commodity: there are for the time being eight different distributions with varying degrees of support and add-ons, including ones from its originators at Yahoo. And the current version? Try something like 0.2. Perhaps this is an artifact of the open source movement which loves those decimal points in their release versions. Another company has released its 1.0 version last week, and they have been at it for several years.

More information: Sys-con